The financial crisis has prompted a public policy debate about the appropriate regulatory
framework for financial reporting and audit. Evidence produced by this research on the current
regulatory system has informed and influenced this debate in the House of Lords, particularly
regarding the respective roles of auditors and audit committees. Furthermore, findings have had a
significant impact on the audit procedures of Deloitte, one of the Big Four global audit firms. Their
National Audit Technical Partner stated that it had prompted a reconsideration of the timing of their
audit processes and the nature of interaction with their audit clients.
In the wake of the Enron Scandal in 2002, the global landscape of
auditing practices radically changed, significantly transforming the UK
regulatory system. University of Glasgow research into the high-level
financial reporting interactions between UK companies and external
auditors has influenced public debate in the House of Lords and prompted
several recommendations of the Select Committee on Economic Affairs. It
has also contributed to an ongoing Competition Commission investigation
into the market concentration of audit companies, and shaped the working
practices at Deloitte, one of the Big Four international audit firms,
influencing the industry at a global level.
Research on International Financial Reporting Standard 8 `Operating
undertaken by academics in the University of Dundee's School of Business,
has been used to
frame the international debate concerning listed company reporting of
information about business unit and geographic activities. Three bodies
involved in regulation and
compliance, have drawn on the research to inform their positions and
strategies in relation to the
standard. Firstly, the IASB's review of IFRS8 was informed by the
research. Secondly, the key
findings were fed into the Financial Reporting Council's proposals to
amend IFRS8. Thirdly, the
research underpinned the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland's
(ICAS) response to the
IASB's request for information on how the standard was being applied, what
encountered and associated costs.
Research by the International Centre for Women Leaders (ICWL) at
Cranfield School of Management has influenced recruitment for board-level
appointments of publicly listed UK companies and has changed the
composition of corporate boards in UK FTSE-350 companies.
Since 2011, the ICWL's annual benchmarking reports have stimulated a
doubling of female appointments to boards, leading to a sharp decline in
the number of all-male boards, from 21 to six for FTSE-100 companies, and
by over 30% for FTSE-250 companies.
These changes in board composition and the practices of 36 leading
executive search firms owe much to the Davies Report (2011), a UK
Government sponsored review of women on corporate boards which drew
extensively on the ICWL's 2010 "Female-FTSE Report".
The rapid growth of the internet from the 1990s provided both
opportunities and challenges for corporate reporting. The research
findings of Birmingham Business School have been highly influential in
assisting regulatory bodies, public policy makers and individual
businesses address these. In the UK, Birmingham's research and
expertise has directly contributed to the introduction of mandatory
online filing of annual returns by companies to HMRC and Companies
House. The successful introduction of this measure by HMRC increased
the proportion of Corporation Tax returns filed online from 42% in
2010/2011 to 96% in 2011/12, bringing significant efficiencies.
Birmingham researchers also have contributed to international
standards setting for company reporting through their participation in
the XBRL Advisory Council, where they have successfully promoted
greater transparency in reporting to the benefit of retail investors.